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I think blowing down that part of the passenger concourse gave a lot of the vandals the idea to come in and tear the rest of it up because it kind of said that Buffalo didnt care about the building in a way. Why do people sit there with a dumb look on there faces staring at the beautiful terminal muttering to themselves "man I wish that this building could be restored!" Why doesn't someone do something about it and not just stare at it and wish. Isn't there a way to raise funds for its restoration? I mean really...I truly want to know how - I - could start some kind of fund raiser or something for its restoration but I wouldn't even know were to begin!
Will the terminal in Buffalo every see trains again? I hate those beautiful train stations they turn into malls and offices!
William E. Redemske
I was inside the Terminal about 1980,'exploring'. I remember looking out of the men's room window, down upon the tracks of the Belt Line. In the concourse, it was still open to the public, and was quite still intact. Just about every one of the stores, barbershop, newsstands, were already closed save for one coffee shop with one customer. It was a surreal sight, all this structure open and maintained (?) but not used as it was intended it to be. I am today an engineer for CSX - I see it every day I work - and think about it every time I run my train past it. I observe all the smaller details - the fuel tank, the platform on the Belt Line, the crew room shanty's. I am dissapointed and dismayed that the biulding is allowed to deteriorate to its condition today. I am enlightened and pleased to see the tower clocks restored however - it gives me a sense of hope that the building may yet be saved. Sometimes in the not-too-distant past I thought that I was the only person who cared or has any interest in the Terminal.
It would seem we have more of a history of tearing down our beautiful architechture and replaceing more modern Planned Obsolecence.
I am a polka musician from Chicago, and I remember playing at a Dyngus Day function at the terminal with Stas' Golonka many years ago. I believe that the uneducated and ignorant public have all contributed to the decline and deface of this railroad landmark. I live in Chicago! We do wonderful things with landmark buildings. All with the exception of 'old' Comiskey Park.
I think its very sad what happens to our history in the US. I have traveled to many other countries including Italy, Amsterdam, and Germany. Some cities in these countries have been around for 500 years and they still have the original buildings and statues. It seems the U.S. can not keep a building for more than 50 years, but this is how the U.S. is. I work in New York City, and am amazed at the way buildings used to be made. Its amazing how much time and effort was put into the buildings. You can see the detail in the paintings, and the stone carvings. Years go this used to be a trade, a craft, now everything is made with cookie cutters.
Linda C. Arthur
My memories of the terminal are minimal, but vivid; a brother being drafted and sent off to War, a whole family crying. The father - a World War II, Battle of the Bulge Survivor now seeing his son off to War too!
Here's an idealistic pie in the sky proposal - well, several. If the location is to come back, it needs better highway access, not just light rail. I'd relocate the Kensington Expwy along or above the RR right of way and open the area up to more commercial development, even if it should end up more suburban looking. (I'd also close the old Expwy route and restore Humboldt Parkway.). Access will make the site more valuable and restoration worthy. I'd also get rid of the elevated Thruway downtown as it cuts off the waterfront, put it underground along side the RR, and reconstruct the Aud as a new station in the style of the old Terminal only this time downtown where it should have been all along.
If was the owner of the Central Terminal i would turn it back into a train station. If we, the city of Buffalo, want to turn ourselves around and be the properous city that we used to be....we should start with bringing back things from our past.
Phillip A. Bobrowski
My father's aunt would not travel by air, so any time she would arrive in Buffalo to visit her only other blood-relative in the United States, her visit would always start and end at the terminal. When I was very young, there was always a hustle and bustle throughout the terminal, from the shoe-shine stand, to the porters and taxi stands, the main concourse and the retailers, even the employee who would travel across the huge arrival/departure board, eraser and chalk in hand, moving adroitly on that ladder. The last time I was in the building was for a Dingus Day celebration. There were thousands of people, not only partaking in the festivities, but also there to remember the glory days.
I think that it is very sad that the City of Buffalo has allowed this building to come to be in its current state. I've always been too afraid to take any photos of the terminal except from my car and far away. Obviously the surrounding area has led to the destruction of the terminal. I really doubt people are driving in from other areas of town just to smash the building up in vandalism.
Just a fond love for the building, alomst like it is apart of me. The city shuld be disgraced for allowing a true landmark fall victim again (aka Larkin Building).
Buffalo's "problem" (for want of a better word) is that its abundance of architectural treasures has outstripped our ability to maintain them all. It's not just money (although that's certainly part of it); population and demographics also play a big role in the community's ability to preserve its past.
I curently work for CSX and I first saw the bulding when I passed it on a freight train going into the yard. My first thought was "what is that building?" I got talking to the engineer and he told me what it was and I couldn't believe that the city would let such a nice looking bulding fall apart like that. Beyond the shap of the building I think it could be fixed up to the way it was and once again be turned into a new Amtrak/Bus/Taxi Cab station like Syracuse built a few years ago.
I lived on the east side of Buffalo until i was 8 yrs old. My parents moved away because of the rising crime problems of the 1980's. I spent the rest of my childhood in Elmira NY. When i moved there in 1988, there wasnt a big problem with crime, but then drugs came into town and ruined it. Now I currently live in Mississippi and I watch this place go to drugs also. My only memories of the Central Terminal is when i was really young I used to always bug my family members about wanted to go explore the building. I wanted to see what it was like in the inside, but i never got to see. I think it is sad that people would deliberately destroy something that has so much history behind it.
Thomas D. Kluczynski
My mom and dad, both being Polish, lived next to the station. After my parents married and moved to Chicago this meant lots of visits each summer and winter. We would stay with my Dad's sister. I remember watching the trains, waking up at odd hours of the night with the sound of train horns, thinking to myself how cool it was they lived so close to these trains. I guess when I think of the station I think of my family, some who still live close like my Aunts Judy and Debbie, along with Grandma.
My grandmother, a lifelong Buffalo resident used to talk fondly of it, and up to her death in the early 1990's at the age of 93 never forgave the city for allowing it to "go to shambles" as she said. It is a shame that such a beautiful building has been allowed to waste away into the decrepid and delapidated state it is in. I still remember passing that station riding aboard the Lake Shore Limited on the early mornings through the area and wondering what a scene it must have been like during it's heyday.
I just recently "discovered" the terminal; living in the 'burbs the younger part of my life did not allow for many visits to East Buffalo. Myself a photographer, my fiance brought me to it so that I could shoot there. I was able to shoot a roll just before sundown one summer (around 3 years ago) and when I recently returned, I was unable to enter the main concourse.
I have only been to Buffalo once in 1986 and it seems to have the same problems that Detroit has with it's past. Both cities allow architectural monuments deteriorate to the point where the building is usually demolished rather than restored. Both cities have some incredible architecture, Central Terminal is a PRIME example, which should never be left to crumble into memory and pictures. I hope that it can be saved.
I remember this impressive structure from my childhood. It was 1954 and I remember visiting the Terminal as a part of a field trip with my school (Cheektowaga's Losson Road Elementary School...long gone). I was in kindergarten and the teachers and all my little schoolmates boarded busses for the trip to the terminal for a train ride. We got to line up and take our turn blowing the whistle in a mock-up of a train engine that was set up inside the terminal for kids. I remember the immenseness of the inside of the terminal, the vast openess of it, like being in a tremendous cavern where sounds echo in the distance. We did board and ride a train but I do not know where we went. I do remember, though, the girl in my class that I sat next to for the whole ride. I also remember that our window was so dirty that we couldn't anything outside of our car, but it still is a great memory of days long gone by.
I lived just off Fillmore Ave. and was always around this building. I even ventured inside with my father years ago. Driving up to the Terminal was always emotional. I've recently wanted to go back and take some pictures but my father refused. I keep thinking that the structural integrity of the building must be suffering tremendously.
We have a chance! The seeds of revolution have been planted. Whitness the New Millenium Group and its efforts on the Public Bridge Authority. We can do this! Great things are ahead, we just need the right people and will not give up. You can't stop a steaming locomotive!
I first saw it in person in use in 1969, and was awestruck by it's size. I saw it again on a fan trip in 1984, and was trying to get to see it everytime I was in Buffalo. After 1990, I spent many afternoons railfanning Buffalo, and the terminal was the subject of many hours of looking. I never was able to see the interior of the tower but only saw the concorse when it was in use in 1969. I did explore and photograph the exterior from many angles and did look in the platform area. I have been dismayed at the deterioration of the facility in the last few years, and the last couple ventures I noticed even the clocks were broken on the towers along with windows far above the ground. I sadly fear that the cost of repairs and rehabilitization of the property may make it too expensive to restore. It is a shame, and I think the present condition only makes matters worse, and that it's only time until demolition.
It is a sad statement that preservation efforts often only succeed if they are in "middle class-afluent" areas. We need to preserve architectural treasures in all neighborhoods, and depressed neighborhoods need the positive influence of revitalized buildings.
My friends and I have recently in these past few months explored what is left of the old station. With the utmost caution, we have even managed to get to the top of the tower overlooking Downtown Buffalo. On my friends' last trip there, they took pictures of many of the entrances as well as the long, narrow, glass bridge which we have on many occasions crossed. It is a shame that vandalism has made this landmark so dangerous to explore.
Now... thankfully, the Martin House is getting attention. But the Lackawanna (Railroad) station downtown, the Larkin Building, the Pan Am Exposition Bldgs, and others, were gems that can never be recreated.
Every cent spent on restoration will be paid back a hundred fold by future generations who will appreciate this marvel.
I lived in the area and I spent many days exploring and just hanging out there with my friends. We used to go down the tunnels underneath the concourse into the pitch black darkness with flashlights that were not much help to see with. We used to hang out in the main concourse and by the small Van Dyke station on Newton Street. Mostly we would explore the surrounding building wings, but we didn't see much of the main building. The few times I did go in there I was impressed with the magnificence of it. I remember sometimes going into areas and being concerned with my safety but curiosity just forced us to look further. I always wished that I could see it in it's glory days and I think to myself what a wonderful place it must have been. I never saw the main concouse until after they demolished the section connecting it to the main building, but even in it's sad state you could see how impressive it must have been. Now I look at the building and I am saddened by the extreme state of disrepair and I can't help but think that there is no hope for this splendid building.
I spent an extra day on a business trip (c. 1992) to explore Buffalo's grain elevators, the remaining Larkin buildings and Sullivan's Guaranty Building. I saw CT while driving through the city, and had to stop. The photographs I took that day are unearthly. It stuns something in the human psyche to see the physical embodiment of hundreds of thousands of manhours standing in utter abandonment. I found the sculpture standing in the parking lot. Its appearance *is* extremely bizarre. Although it didn't occur to me until today, closer inspection of my photographs makes me wonder whether it is a depiction of Icarus and Daedalus. The odd star may be the wings of each person. I have never been back to Buffalo, but the enigma of CT is strongly etched in my consciousness.